Create an Advisory Board to Guide Your Growth


May
25
2017

We recently talked about the importance of delegation in growing your business. Delegation has a role as an investment in your company, one that takes work up front, but pays off down the road. Growing your business is actually a series of investments, and one of the most helpful investments you can make early on is creating an advisory board to help guide your way.

Advisory boards can serve a variety of purposes, typically offering advice and suggestions on topics such as marketing, investments, expansion, business deals and other growth-based matters. The idea of a board of advisors might bring to mind a conference table circled with a dozen individuals, but even a small business can take on a few advisors to help steer them in the right direction.

There are some important considerations to take into account when you create and manage your board of advisors. You'll want to carefully review a few of these considerations to make sure you get the most out of your advisory board.

Hire Small(ish) and Diverse

Between three and five individuals is a suitable number for your advisory board. This allows you to get a variety of opinions and perspectives without overwhelming the process or creating disruption.  By the same token, you want to fill your board with people from a variety of circumstances and with different viewpoints. Having multiple individuals who always agree with one another is not a great way to get the important feedback you need. Try hiring from different industries, age groups, and backgrounds.

Establish What You Want from the Advisory Board

Some businesses make the mistake of creating an advisory board because "that's what a business is supposed to have." Without a clear and defined definition of what the board is meant to accomplish, you'll end up with several people who sit around and ultimately don't do anything.  Make your expectations clear to the board so that they can prepare ahead and offer the kind of help you need and hold you accountable.

Set the Terms of Membership

Some individuals you recruit to the board will help you out of a genuine interest in seeing your business grow. Others are more pragmatic - they want compensation. Make sure the details of the advisory board, including how often you meet and the responsibilities of members, are determined ahead of time. You might also prepare a proposition of how serving on the advisory board might benefit the member. Compensation for an individual might not just include money – some might be satisfied knowing that your business helps those in need or advances a cause they can get behind.

Are you satisfied with your advisory board, or have you experienced an exciting success story involving one? Drop me a line at Kelly.jennings@quincycfo.com and tell me your story!

 




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